Motivation Monday 2/29

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Find your next great adventure…

 

(c) Katherine Jacoby 2016

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Sunday Shenanigans 2/28/16

Happy Sunday and Happy National Pancake Day! If you haven’t already I hope you are planning on enjoying a flap jack or two. I personally went out to breakfast this morning solely to have pancakes. I had actually been craving them for a couple weeks but had not indulged. This weekend has been full of tasty indulgences (pizza, cupcakes, pop) which is not my normal style, but sometimes you just have to live a little. If you’re going to attend a 6th birthday party you should at least try one of the cupcakes that made up the Teenage Mutant Turtle Cake. It was delicious by the way.

While this weekend has been fairly jammed packed with activities and all I would really like to do is lounge today, I am not that fortunate. Today’s to do list includes: finishing my taxes, completing my FAFSA for financial aid, cleaning the house, going for a run (it’s supposed to be 60 today!), and study for accounting. None of these are as enjoyable as a nap, but all of them need to get done. Maybe I can squeeze in a quick lounge session before my dad gets here to help with taxes…maybe not.

I have to say, every time I fill out the FAFSA I feel like a little piece of my soul dies. Not only do I have to rehash my tax info, which is a pain, but I am also willingly putting myself in debt. I have plans on how I am paying it back, and it is not more than I can handle, but I still hate the feeling of having students loans hanging over me. It only adds to the stress of being back in school. I almost waited on pursuing my MBA because of my hesitancy to take on student loans, but I knew if I waited too long it would be tough to go back as my responsibilities in life continue to increase.  It is a hard choice though, and my advice to anyone who is considering school and taking out loans is to make sure you have a plan; make sure that you are not biting off more than you can chew or putting yourself in a position that could hurt you in the long run. Education is great, and I can see where my MBA will help me in my career already, but it is also a huge commitment and one that should not be taken on without careful consideration.

 

Sunday Highlights

National Pancake Day! Pancake breakfast as Nello’s

Sleep: 8 Hours

Work: 1 Hour

Study/School Probably about 2 Hours plus however long FAFSA takes me

Workout: POP Pilates Booty this morning, run later this afternoon

Taxes: Ugh…

Accounting…

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This my friends, is my current view. Not exactly an inspiring scene, but given the view when I look outside at the disgusting mix of winter and wet, I suppose I could be worse off. The only problem is that this awful weather just makes me want to curl up in a blanket with a good book or a movie. However, neither of those scenarios will help me complete my homework or my workout. It is a bleak scene to be sure. Someone should send me some chocolate and some motivation to get me through these rough times…

Ok, not really, but it is a nice thought.

 

Back to studying!

 

Best,

Katherine

Wednesday Highlights

Sleep: 7 Hours

Work: 7 Hours (8 if you count my awful drive to work this morning)

Study: 2.5 Hours

Workout: 1 Hour Stationary Bike plus POP Pilates February Calendar

School You Fiend

I am in need of some major motivation today. I have decided that I have a love/hate relationship with online classes. This is the first semester I have taken classes online and while I love the freedom of not sitting in class, I can see where it is harder to make myself get the work done, particularly in a class like my current accounting course. Unlike my first online course, where homework was due on specific dates and there were tight deadlines (very tight given the 4 week timeframe), this class is graded only on a midterm and a final. The homework is not submitted or graded and as long as I cover the material before the midterm I am fine. This is great from a flexibility standpoint, but allows a lot of procrastination if wanted to put off the work. I am generally pretty good about holding myself to deadlines and even working ahead of schedule, I was a week ahead in my 4 week coding class. However, for some reason this accounting class seems to be an achilles heel for my motivation. Perhaps it is my limited interest in the subject or the amount of time that I have been dedicating to work recently, but even when I set aside time to complete the reading and homework problems, I have zero motivation to do it. Just looking at the text and problems makes me feel tired and unmotivated. Of course, I have felt this before, it isn’t an uncommon feeling among students. The issue is that I can usually pull myself through it and once I start I feel better. Here, I am able to start but that lack of motivation seems to permeate my entire study session. It hasn’t affected my ability to absorb the material yet, but I wouldn’t count that as an impossibility as the class moves into more difficult material. Accounting is not the toughest class I will have to take, but it is not one that I want to find myself behind in. Looking at my calendar I realize that the midterm will come up quickly and several of my weekends are already at least partially occupied by social engagements. Not only do I not want to slack on homework, but I don’t want to spend the time with my family and friends worrying about a class. Life will be much more enjoyable in the long run if I stick to dedicating a few hours a week to getting through the lectures and homework. I may just have to find a stronger source of caffeine than my current line up of tea. I see a chance of Diet Pepsi creeping onto my radar.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

Best,

Katherine

Tuesday Highlights

Sleep: 8 Hours

Work: 9 Hours

Study: 2 Hours

Workout: POP Pilates February calendar, 2 mile run

 

 

 

Sunday Shenanigans 2/21 – Running Shoes

In the spirit of the beautiful weather Metro Detroit had this weekend (60 in February?!) this post will be focused on my endeavor to buy new running shoes for the season. I’ve known for a while that I need to retire my tried and true Reeboks. Fitness experts say you should replace your shoes every 400 miles and I had gone much farther than that in these puppies. So why did it take me so long to buy new shoes? Part of it was lack of time, but part of it is that every time I have to buy new shoes the company has discontinued or somehow changed my previous shoe. Shoe choice is an important aspect of running regularly and as I already do not enjoy running, finding a comfortable shoe is key. However, it is never as easy as it should be. Every time I have to change shoes I go through the cycle of researching my options, trying them on, debating them, debating some more, and eventually purchasing a pair. That purchase is generally followed by some doubt in my choice, a couple runs, and then the decision that I did in fact make the right choice (or at least a comfortable choice). This time was no different. What I should do is go to an actual running store and have them fit me and monitor my style of running on one of their treadmills. For my next pair I will likely do that. However, this time I was in desperate need of new shoes and didn’t have time/didn’t want to wait to find and try a running store. So off I went.

In my head I knew that I wanted a pair similar to my Reeboks; lighter-weight but not the weightless type, consistent level of thickness in the sole, and finally, that X factor that when you put them on and you feel good in them. I had toyed with the more structured shoes that have a little more support and maybe a little more padding, wondering what the effects of my light weight shoes would be on my knees and ankles in the long run. Yet, I had found success in my runs with the style of Reebok I had been using, so why change? I was also concerned with the fact that many of the thicker soled shoes make me want to plant my heel when I run which is awful for your knees. I didn’t want to mess with my running style and so I resolved to stick with my current shoe design.

FullSizeRender2Now that I knew what I wanted, on to shopping. I had explored a few options while shopping last weekend and had found a Nike pair that I thought would work. However I wasn’t wearing the right socks to judge so I waited on the purchase. Fast forward to this weekend, go back to the store with one pair in mind, try them on, and of course am not as sure about them as I had previously was. I explore a little more, find myself in the clearance section and come across another Nike pair similar to the ones in my hand but also reminiscent of my Reeboks. Try one on, it feels good, try one of each pair of Nikes on to compare and the new ones take the cake. Awesome, I have a decision. Except, what are these? A more structured pair form Asics that have caught my attention. It couldn’t hurt to try them on for comparison, right? After all, I had debated trying this type of shoe. Much to my surprise, I like them. They are comfortable but not heavy, with support I can feel as I bounce up and down the aisle to test my gait in them. I once again put one of each pair on for comparison. There is a distinct difference in the feel but I am unsure of which I prefer. I always liked the light weight shoe, but could these more structured ones feel better after a long run? Enter here a lot of extra time at the store, one purchased pair followed doubt and a return to the store to purchase the second pair as well. I will save you the details of coming to that decision but what it comes down to is the fact that I found two pairs of running shoes that I like when I generally struggle to find one. The light weight Nikes will be more shorter run and sprinting shoes while the more structured Asics will be for my longer runs. By doing this I hope to lengthen the life of both pairs of shoes while also helping my joint out with more support as I run. So far I have only taken the Nikes for a spin but I am excited to officially try out the Asics as well.

Having the right equipment is important for any activity you try, but especially when it affects safety or the impacts on your health. I know that while running is great exercise,  it is a high impact workout and can be tough on my body. That is why I try to mix up my workouts and am always conscious of how I feel when I start a workout. Staying in shape only keeps you healthy if you don’t hurt yourself while doing it.

How do you stay in shape? Does anyone else have the same problem I do finding the right equipment?

 

Best,

Katherine

 

Sunday Highlights

Sleep: 8 hours

Work: 1 Hour

Study: 0

Workout: 30 min treadmill workout, 40 minutes POP Pilates

Study Abroad: To Go Or Not To Go?

Raise your hand if you studied abroad while in undergrad. Where did you go? Europe? Asia? Australia? I had planned on studying abroad (I wanted to go to Australia) while at SLU but in the end chose pursuing internships that I thought would help my career in the long run. Those jobs did help me, but there are times that I wonder if I should have taken another look at spending time abroad as a student. Now that I am in the student seat again, study abroad has once again become an option and I find myself wondering if now is the time. I have not traveled as much as I would have liked; the only international adventure (other than Canada) on my books is Austria and Germany with my sister’s hockey team in 2012. That was an amazing trip, and I would love to go back and explore even further, but I also have plenty of other places on my checklist. So, when at orientation they released some of the study abroad programs for 2016, I listened and felt that itch to travel start up again. Not only are you able to travel and see business in an international setting, but the two weeks you spend abroad count for a full 3 credits. Travel and reducing the time spent in class? Not a bad combination.

I was initially intrigued by Wayne State’s program that takes students to Italy but the dates overlap with my sister’s college graduation. Other programs go to China (not high on my list) and Poland this year. Reading through the brochures and material my first blush answer was “Yes! I want to do this!” However, this isn’t undergrad anymore and taking off to travel has become a little more complicated. First issue, the trips are two weeks long, which covers all the vacation time I get in a year. While I would love to do this, I have prior obligations this year that prevent me from doing so. But what about next year? Same question arises, can I/do I want to use all my vacation time at once? Maybe, I don’t have anything concrete planned for 2017 so I won’t eliminate the possibility. Second issues, will my work schedule allow me to take two weeks where I am basically unavailable to my coworkers and clients. In an ideal world, vacation time means vacation time and no work, but in reality, that is often not the case. These trips all take place in the spring and summer which tends to be a busy time for my office. Leaving would require approval from my boss and a lot of planning ahead to make sure any questions that could arise could be answered without me. Might be a bit of a pain, but if approval was given extra work before I leave would not be a deterrent. Third issue, and if I am honest this one is the biggest hurdle, is the cost of the trip. Not only do you pay for the cost of being in another country with the program, but you pay for airfare, a majority of meals while abroad, and oh yea, tuition for the 3 credits. At minimum we’re talking $5000-$6000, and it is likely to be higher. Not an exorbitant amount, but not chump change either, especially for someone who is paying for school on their own. To go on the trip costs as much as tuition for a full semester with two classes. Granted, I am getting one class credited for the trip, but is that enough? Can I justify spending that money right now? I don’t have the answer for that at the moment, and if I decide to pursue it next year circumstances could be very different which makes thinking about an answer now difficult. I know I want to travel, and I know I want to do it while I am young and have fewer responsibilities. So what are my tradeoffs between saving for a shorter self planned trip in the reasonably near future, studying abroad through school, or planning a longer trip but having to wait? That is a question that I will have to consider as I balance and consider my options.

If anyone has any sage advice, I am all ears!

 

Best,

Katherine

 

 

 

Accounting Day 1 – Piece of Cake

There is something quite pleasant about sitting down to do class work and finding out that the lecture is short and the material is not difficult. Now, I won’t assume that all of my Accounting lectures will be 12 minutes long with only a few practice problems that take me 20 minutes total, but it is a nice boost after a long day at work that was preceded by a poor night’s sleep. Yesterday was one of those days at the office where I felt like I was in a haze and everything require far more time and effort than truly necessary. Not the kind of day you want to end with homework. However, the burden of grad school is that the work must be completed even when you have a rough day. So I pushed through, forced myself through a run and some pilates, which actually made me feel a lot better, and then on to homework. The downfall of short assignments is that I am sometimes so eager to get them done that I rush through and make mistakes. I’ve gotten much better about it but I still have those moments where I go to fast and miss a step or make a mistake. Last night was one of those nights.

As I write this, my inbox lights up with an announcement from my Accounting professor. There are two more lecture videos for the first chapter and more problems to complete. I am pretty sure I did most of the problems listed last night for extra practice, but it goes to show that I was correct in my expectation that the lectures would not be 12 minutes long for the entire semester. The new videos are not long and I can’t complain about extra practice problems since the skills in the problems, while not difficult, require specific steps.

Alright, back to the grind. Let me know how your Tuesday is going!

 

Monday’s Recap

Sleep: 6ish Hours

Work: 8 Hours

Study: 1 Hour

Workout: 3 mile run, 40 min POP Pilates

 

Tuesday Highlights

Sleep: 7 Hours

Work: 10 Hours

Study: Nope

Workout: Morning workout with POP Pilates

Sunday Shenanigans – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Whether you’re single, coupled up, engaged, or married, I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. It’s a bit cold for my taste in Detroit, but it is better than yesterday.  A high of 8 degrees is never fun and it makes being outside painful at times. I am very ready for spring, with skirts, and lighter coats, and a lack of freezing cold wind. Despite the cold, I have had an enjoyable and productive weekend. I was graced by the presence of one of my best friends in the world for the weekend and together we picked out a bridesmaid’s dress for the wedding I am in in September, found a dress (at an amazing price) for another one or two weddings I will attend this summer, found some other great deals, and of course, lounged for girl talk and snacks. We also binge watched the show we have been watching together since it started, Once Upon A Time, to prepare for the new season that starts in a couple weeks! If any of you watch the show, Netflix has the first four seasons, go back and watch some of the first episodes if you can. Henry is tiny and there is so much foreshadowing it’s amazing. If you don’t watch the show, please excuse my mild case of fan hysteria that just happened.

Now that Regina has gone home, it’s time to be productive and get some cleaning out of the way. My first Accounting lecture was posted yesterday which means I have reading and homework to complete this week (joy). I also have a busy few weeks ahead of me with work and social events so I am taking the opportunity to get everything in order and handled so I don’t lose my mind as I run from work to studying and everywhere else I need to be. Tucker has been no help with the cleaning other than the fact that he let me vacuum some of the fuzz straight off him instead of shaking it all over the table and carpet I vacuumed and dusted. If I had any faith it would work I would train him so I could attach a Swiffer pad to his tail and have him dust.

Who has tips on keeping up with a lovable but incredibly fuzzy dog?

 

Best,

Katherine

 

Sunday Highlights

Sleep: 7 Hours

Work: Nope

Study: Not today, but Accounting is calling

Workout: POP Pilates Booty Day plus  a few extra videos

Best Meal: Steak dinner for V-Day!